It was Babe the pig in the movie of the same name who famously “La la laaa-ed” her way into many a heart worldwide. Following in her footsteps is another perky pink piglet with a set of lungs to rival the greatest songstress. Barbra Streisand squealed her way into our hearts this week, telling us in no uncertain terms that “Happy days are here again!”
Whilst her name and her antics may bring smiles to all of our faces, Barbra’s start to life most certainly did not. Winding up at a rural veterinary clinic after being found roadside by a concerned traveller, Barbra’s body tells us her journey to kindness has not been an easy one. With sunburn afflicting her pink skin, her ears severely burned, Barbra’s sensitive young feet too had been scalded, most likely from walking on the hot asphalt road alongside which she was discovered. Cuts and abrasions punctuated her sides and Barbra’s emaciated form told of some time spent struggling for survival. Adding to her woes is a painful case of joint ill, requiring antibiotics and pain relief to reign in.
As Barbra now snoozes soundly in her fluffy pink bed, doted over as always by Vet Nurse Ruby, we cannot help but marvel at how her life has transformed in only a matter of weeks. Barbra’s life most likely began within the walls of a piggery in the vicinity of the area in which she was discovered, a piggery which, luckily for Barbra, could not return her to their facility due to biosecurity standards. Exactly how Barbra managed her escape from such a facility is anyone’s guess and as we watch her enthusiastically and innocently explore her new world, our breath catches slightly to think what her short life could have been.
With over 4 million pigs like Barbra raised for human consumption in Australia each year, we could be forgiven for thinking a dream in which all her kind can one day know kindness would only be possible when pigs fly (or sing?). However, when we remember just how quickly brave and determined Barbra turned her own world around, we think perhaps this plucky little piglet is destined to open a few more hearts along her way.
For now, we (and Vet Nurse Ruby) will continue to watch over Barbra as she peacefully naps her day away, the safety she must feel no longer having to run for her life is almost palpable. And whilst we’ll continue working toward that kinder world for pigs like Barbra, one thing’s for sure, no-one will be raining on her parade ever again.